Canadian police officers Dave
Weir (L), and Daniel Montsion (C) are seen kneeling by Abdirahman Abdi
outside his apartment building on Hilda Street, on July 24, 2016.
Abdi, a 37-year-old Somali immigrant, was arrested following a
confrontation with police outside his apartment building in the
Ontario’s capital city of Ottawa on Sunday morning after police were
called in over reports of a disturbance near a coffee shop in the
neighborhood of Hintonburg, located in the city’s west end.
whose neighbors said suffered an unspecified mental illness, tried to
make his way from the coffee shop towards his apartment, but, after a
foot chase, police nabbed him face down on a pool of blood, after
beating him repeatedly by a baton and spraying pepper on his eyes, while
dozens of horrified bystanders watched the horrific scene.
severely injured Muslim was then taken to the Ottawa Hospital, but he
succumbed to his wounds and passed away, hours after his bloody arrest,
A video recorded by an eye witness showed the aftermath
of Abdi’s violent arrest, when he was lying face down on the ground, in
a bloodied shirt, with his hands cuffed behind his back and his pants
pulled down before paramedics came to the scene and began administering
Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit
(SIU), announced that it had launched an investigation into Abdi’s
death, which could take months.
Two file photos of Abdirahman AbdiAccording
to Canadian Broadcaster CBC News, the two Ottawa police officers, who
were directly involved in Abdi’s arrest, are Const. Daniel Montsion and
Const. Dave Weir.
This is while the local police chief has stood by his team saying he supports their actions.
protesting rally over Abdi’s death and police violent handling of the
incident has been planned, by human rights activists, for Wednesday in
“This is a heartbreaking loss and our thoughts and
prayers are with Mr. Abdi’s family at this difficult time. Many members
of the Ottawa Muslim and Somali communities have serious concerns about
how this tragic incident unfolded, including whether prejudice had
something to do with Mr. Abdi’s treatment,” said Ihsaan Gardee,
Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) on
“It is critical that a full and transparent
investigation be swiftly conducted so that Mr. Abdi’s family, and the
wider community, get clear answers,” he added.
It is by no means
the first time Canadian police are involved in killing an immigrant. In
July 2015, a Toronto police officer gunned down 45-year-old Andrew Loku,
a mentally ill immigrant from South Sudan, in his apartment. The
officer, however, was not charged.